ART

Queer artist slected for Napier Waller Art Prize

A queer artist and Australian Defence Force member, Karl Metzger, has been selected to take part in the Australian War Meroirals' Napier Waller Art Prize.
FUSE  |  Art & Culture
Karl Metzger self-portrait, 'SINCERITY IS SCARY' 2024
Karl Metzger self-portrait, 'SINCERITY IS SCARY' 2024

 The Napier Waller Art Prize encourages artistic excellence, promotes the transformative power of creativity, and raises awareness of the experiences and talent of current and former service personnel in the Australian Defence Force.

Among the talented artists selected to exhibit, Karl Metzger self-portrait, 'SINCERITY IS SCARY' most certainly stands out from the crowd.

Karl, says; For periods of my life I have suffered from guilt and shame around my identity, yet this experience is not unique to myself. Culture and community is our story to share, but we often let those around us control our narrative. We teach ourselves to mask and minimise what makes us different, to make others feel comfortable, to appease what is acceptable to the mainstream.

I have reflected on early parts of my adult life when, at times, I found myself depressed and unhappy. These times were often during events or circumstances where I felt uninspired, restrained, judged and even received criticism for being myself.

Every day I strive towards being authentically myself, educating, listening and creating safe spaces that allow others to do the same. Whilst in this portrait I wear a mask, it remains the ultimate representation of queer expression and gender identity of what is inside. The silver mask worn in this portrait was made by the designer albinohector.

I’m grateful for the opportunities and challenges that a career in the army has given me, the leadership, the mateship and the legacy we continue to contribute to.

I dedicate this portrait to those people.

SINCERITY IS SCARY

The 2024 Napier Waller Art Prize will be showing in perosn at Parliament House in Canberra later this month. You can see the exhibition online now, which features the shortlist of 29 finalists. Each of these shortlisted artists is also eligible for the prestigious People’s Choice Award, which includes a substantial cash prize of $5,000.

NAPIER WALLER ART PRIZE

The Napier Waller Art Prize was open to all current and former service personnel in the Australian Defence Force. The bi-annual prize encourages artistic excellence, promotes the transformative power of creativity, and raises awareness of the experiences and talent of service personnel. Please note this exhibition contains war related material, including references to suicide, confronting language and images which some people may find challenging and disturbing. The views and statements provided by the artists are theirs alone. Viewer discretion is recommended.



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